The Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency reported on Friday that area hospitals had 52 COVID-19 patients, up from 34 on Friday of last week and the highest number of cases since early September.
The number of ICU beds in use on Friday was 80, up from 67 a week earlier, and the number of adult ventilators in use was 32, up from 28 last Friday.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported no new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District in its report on Wednesday. It had reported four new confirmed deaths from the disease last week.
The Georgia Department of Public Health also reported that the Northeast Health District added 758 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Dec. 28, based on the Department’s electronic tracking system.
That number of added cases on Dec. 21 was 660, and on Dec. 14 that figure was 508. On Dec. 7 the number of new cases was 420, and it had been 291 on Nov. 30 and 232 the week before that.
The Georgia Department of Public Health’s 10-county Northeast Health District includes Oconee and Clarke counties. The other counties are Barrow, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oglethorpe, and Walton.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified the Transmission Rate for COVID-19 for Oconee County and for Clarke County as High this past week, as it had been a week earlier.
All counties in the Northeast Health District are now rated as High Transmission of COVID-19.
The CDC rates the Influenza Activity Level for Georgia as High, as it was a week earlier, and it reports that the percent of Antigen tests for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that were positive was down from slightly from a week earlier, as was the percent of PCR tests for RSV that were positive.
The CDC is not reporting county level data for Influenza or RSV.
Although the Department of Public Health is releasing a report only weekly, it is gathering data on a daily basis, and the weekly report includes a data file containing case counts each day, ending on a Wednesday.
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The Department of Public Health switched to weekly, rather than daily, case counts in April in part because of a concern that its counts under-represent the actual number of cases.
At-home test results are not included in the electronic reporting system.
The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days ending on Dec. 28 in the Northeast Health District was 108.3, up from 94.3 last week. It had been 72.6 on Dec. 14 and 60.0 on Dec. 7.
Oconee County added 69 cases in the seven days ending on Wednesday. The county added 36 cases in the seven days ending on Dec. 21.
Clarke County added 154 new cases in the seven days ending on Dec. 28. It had added 94 cases in the week ending on Dec. 21.
The unstandardized rolling average of added cases in Oconee County on Dec. 28 was 9.7. It had been 5.1 on Dec. 21.
The unstandardized seven-day rolling average of added cases in Clarke County on Dec. 28 was 22.1. It had been 13.7 on Dec. 21.
The Northeast Health District now has recorded 1,702 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 since February of 2020, or 321.0 deaths per 100,000 population.
The Northeast Health District reported 191 “probable” deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, up by two from last Wednesday.
The two new “probable” deaths from COVID-19 were in Elbert and Madison counties.
The Department of Public Health does not provide any individual information about the “probable” deaths from the disease.
Focus On Hospital Reports
In its announcement in April, the Georgia Department of Public Health said “Given the number of at-home COVID tests that do not get reported, there is now a greater focus on other indicators.”
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The announcement directed attention to the data released by the Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
The hospital data available for the area include the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District plus Hart and Franklin counties. The data are dominated by St. Mary’s and Piedmont Regional in Athens-Clarke County.
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The Centers for Disease Control and prevention rates the Transmission Rate of COVID-19 in Oconee County and Clarke County as High, based on total number of new cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days and the percentage of Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests that are positive during the last seven days, ending on Thursday.
Both counties had been rated at High in terms of Rate of Transmission last week as well.
The CDC now lists 136 out of the state’s 159 counties as having a High Transmission Rate.
That number was 128 last week.
The CDC scale is High (Red), Substantial (Orange), Moderate (Yellow), or Low (Blue).
Neither the CDC nor the Georgia Department of Public Health releases county-level data on influenza rates.
The state-wide Influenza Activity Level for Georgia for the week ending on Dec. 24, the most recent rating, lists the level of activity in Georgia as 9, or High.
The highest level is 13. The rating last week was 9.
The CDC reports the three-week rolling average of the percent of Antigen and PRC detections for RSV in the state.
For the week ending on Dec. 24, the rate was 0.9 (Antigen), and 2.9 (PCR).
For the week ending on Dec. 17, the rate was 1.2 (Antigen), and 3.0 (PCR).